SEVEN SISTERS

SEVEN SISTERS might not have a classical NWOBHM name but that is what they play, sort of. If you like your heavy metal cool then check this band out. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl

As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
7S: First of all, thanks for having us! Seven Sisters is a Heavy Metal band based in London. We started as a bit of a writing project between me (Kyle McNeill) and the other guitarist, Graeme Farmer. We started jamming and got some songs demoed that we decided to release on tape, mainly for fun! The tape got a brilliant response so we scrambled together a full line up and now here we are. We have Adam Thorpe on bass, Steve Loftin on drums, me on vocals and guitar, and Graeme on guitar.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
7S: The name probably came before anything happened musically! Seven Sisters is an area in London and I saw the words on the front of a Tube train and just thought it would work well as a band name. When we looked into the Seven Sisters a bit more we found all the Greek myths and this rich history to do with star constellations and the Greek Gods, so we had to keep it!

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of metal you play? What inspires you today?
7S: The sound that we’re most associated with is the NWOBHM from the early 80’s. Bands like Angel Witch, Virtue, obviously ‘Maiden and ‘Priest. We love that whole movement, and all the European and Scandinavian bands that made the British Metal sound their own as well! There’s too many to mention so it’s easier to say we’re inspired by ‘Classic Metal’. That isn’t all we listen to though; we’ve got quite a diverse music taste as a band ranging from Black Metal to Jazz (and everything in between). My long-term plan is to turn Seven Sisters into a Prog Rock band and hope the other guys don’t realise…

What is the advantages/disadvantages of digital?
7S: Wow, we could be here a while! In a nutshell, the ‘Digital Age’ has given us the power to share music effortlessly with an amazing amount of people and, most importantly, we can do it all ourselves without having to rely on a Record Company or Publisher to get it our there for us. One of the problems with that is there’s no ‘quality control’ on the music being put out. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry can record a few tunes and stick them up on Bandcamp or Soundcloud and present them to The World. While there are a lot of amazing independent artists doing exactly what I just said, there’s also a lot of shit on The Web, too. For me, it takes the away the personal side of music as well. There’s no actual human interaction in the purchase of a download. You don’t get to chat to the band at the merch stall, or even talk to the guy behind the counter at the music store about the albums you just bought. That being said if it wasn’t for the Internet then Seven Sisters probably wouldn’t even exist outside my flat. I suppose the digital age is there to be taken advantage of, and we’d be silly not to, but nothing beats buying an LP from the band at their gig and getting to share that real, music experience!

Is digital killing the album format? Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
7S: I don’t think that Digital is ‘killing’ the album, it’s more that Digital has changed the way people consume music. Generally, people that listen to Pop or ‘Chart’ music are more likely to just download a single off iTunes and stick it on shuffle on their mp3 player. Heavy Metal fans still, and always will as far as I’m concerned, go out and buy or maybe download an album. Music fans as a whole will always be interested in albums. Pop music is manufactured very much in the same way as any sort item made in a factory. The turn over is so fast that there doesn’t seem to be time to think about an album. Pop artists do still release albums, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they gave up the next few years and just went for singles every couple of months. Whatever happens, I’m certain that Metal will just carry on doing things the way it always has.

What part does art work and lay out play when you release songs digitally?
7S: Unfortunately, not as big as role as it should. This is another argument for saying why purchasing music digitally isn’t personal. When something is released physically the artwork plays such a huge roll in tying the whole package together. It has the job of summarising the music and getting you excited about it before you even play it. If you look at the layout of most music streaming websites and applications now, the artwork is of minor importance. Generally it’s some little widget in the corner somewhere. Album artwork will never go away, it just doesn’t play a big part in the digital world. We try to make an effort with ours and we have a very good relationship with a guy called Nick Huck, he does all of our artwork!

Is it a whole different way to promote a digital track than it is promoting a cd? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
7S: I think the promotion of any track/album, whether it be digital or physical, is fundamentally the same. I reckon a good 50/60% of all promotion for a small artist is online regardless of what format you’re releasing your material on. Sites like Facebook and Bandcamp are a must have. Radio play, magazines, and word of mouth are still a great way of promoting your stuff though.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
7S: Absolutely! It’s such a close-knit community here in the UK I love it. All the bands know each other and are friends, and once you’ve been to a few gigs you pretty much know most of the ‘scene’. Festivals like Brofest and Live Evil bring people from all over the world to come and see Heavy Metal, it’s a good time for underground Heavy Metal right now and I’m hoping that the scene continues to grow.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
7S: Playing gigs is the best way to spread the word. There is nothing better than a good live show to get people into your band and talking about you. We’ve done really well for gigs so far considering how long we’ve been a full line up. Already we’ve shared the bill with some of the best Metal bands around, and we’ve got shows with guys like Portrait, Rabid Bitch Of The North, Ranger, Stallion, Attic, and Amulet. It’s such a buzz to be playing with bands that I really consider to be flying the flag of Heavy Metal. My only problem with gigging is that we don’t do it enough! If we were lucky enough to be touring I’d never want to stop.

What will the future bring?
7S: More gigs! There’s also the possibility of a 7” single coming out in June/July some time. At the moment we’re taking it one step at a time and just enjoying what we do. After the 7” we’ll release an E.P. and just keep gigging and writing new songs. We really want to get over into Europe and Scandinavia and play some festivals or do a tour!
Thanks again for having us on your site!
Kyle, Graeme, Adam, Steve,
Holsten Pils or death.

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